Kentucky Utilities Company presented the University of Kentucky with a $1 million check Thursday, a sizeable rebate for the school's campus-wide energy savings program.
In 2009, UK hired the energy service company Ameresco of Louisville, which did an analysis of its energy usage. The school then started retrofitting 61 campus buildings with energy-efficient equipment, such as high-efficiency lighting, better air conditioning equipment and water conservation efforts. UK also started an online site that shows exactly how much energy is used by different spaces on campus.
"These are ongoing savings due to our conservation program with KU," said Bob Wiseman, executive vice president for facilities management. "The savings continue to mount for the university, and we are very pleased with the results."
Officials estimate that the $25 million project saves about $2.4 million a year by using nearly 14 million fewer kilowatt hours of electricity and 37 million fewer gallons of water. The $25 million will be recouped in 12 years, Wiseman said.
UK received the rebates through the Commercial Rebate Program offered by KU and Louisville Gas and Electric Company, which gives qualified commercial customers cash incentives to replace aging, less efficient equipment. The rebate is only for savings of electrical costs.
KU officials said the University of Louisville earned a $373,000 rebate in 2010 and Eastern Kentucky University received $303,000 in 2011. In total, Kentucky public and private schools from early childhood to higher education have earned more than $2.7 million in rebates.